Earlier in the month we cleared one of the fallow beds by the glasshouse, and last week in the blaze of wonderful sun we got to grips with the bed that once housed the polytunnel; we had this for one season before parting ways. The poor thing couldn't handle our hillside, the winds took the taut drum of the skin to a night out with the Nora Batty Appreciation Society in Holmfirth. It flapped more than a great Aunt's girdle. The polytunnel was retired to an allotment site in the valley and the bed has since been used as a small building yard for garden materials. The weeds and raspberries have crept in but productive it hasn't been. So, the sun was shining and the body was willing and the courgettes (zucchini for our friends scratching their heads at the word, courgette) were waiting. We had some marrows and custards too.
Now you're all scratching your heads at custards, Northerners in England will be dancing around thinking that at last we have cracked the Willy Wonka garden and that we are growing rich custard pastries. If you want to eat paradise, all you have to do is plant it. Dream on. Custards are small patty pans (again, we not in Willy Wonka world), these are scallop like courgettes but more to do with a squash, but more dense in flesh, great for roasting and tastes great with salmon. We once had a meal with them in during our stay in Las Vegas (oh, you city name dropper you) back in the day when we could afford to get on a plane and eat salmon in a restaurant on The Strip (again, we want to point out that at no time were clothes taken off for money in Vegas - though that is a bedrock of Las Looneyville were the reservoir sinks lower and lower but the sprinklers keep on working - The Strip is the road that runs past all the major casinos and hotels). We fell in love with custards then, but took years to track them down in seed companies in the UK. They're now all the fashion and you can find the yellow little blighters and the white ones in most gardening catalogues. So, we have those to plant but a bed to clear.
It doesn't take us long and soon the bed is cleared and compost added. The courgette rugosa goes in, as do the custards and the marrows, yes, the table dainty kind.
They're incredibly easy to plant. Marrows need around three feet between them and the courgettes/zucchini and custards need around two feet. We plant them in a shallow bowl and this allows us when watering them to create a shallow reservoir of water that is taken directly into the roots of the plant rather than running off.
An hour's work and the old polytunnel bed is back in service with every hope of marrows, courgettes and custards.